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Do R&D activities matter for productivity? A regional spatial approach assessing the role of human and social capital

Marta Bengoa, Valeriano Martinez-San Roman and Patricio Pérez

Economic Modelling, 2017, vol. 60, issue C, 448-461

Abstract: We estimate the long-run effects of Research and Development (R&D) activities on Total Factor Productivity (TFP) across the Spanish regions during 1980–2007. We use panel data cointegration methods and control for spatial externalities linked to human and social capital. Our empirical results, robust to different specifications and additional control variables, show a significant direct effect of public R&D capital on productivity. No significant results are observed for private R&D capital. In contrast, the effect of patents is highly significant but proves to be small. Furthermore, Spain has greatly benefited from importing technology from leading countries. Spatial spillovers are crucial in explaining long-run productivity for the case of Spain. Human and social capital exert direct positive impacts, however, their effects are geographically bounded and negative spatial spillovers offset direct outcomes. Overall TFP increases when neighbouring territories engage in R&D activities.

Keywords: Total factor productivity; Research and development; Cointegration; Spatial externalities; Panel data (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C23 O18 O47 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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